Jonathan Feng-Shun Lin
Automatic Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation System
Current physiotherapy practice relies on visual observation of the patient for diagnosis and assessment. The assessment process can potentially be automated to improve accuracy and reliability. This thesis proposes a method to recover patient joint angles and automatically extract movement profiles utilizing small and lightweight body-worn sensors.
Joint angles are estimated from sensor measurements via the extended Kalman filter (EKF). Constant-acceleration kinematics is employed as the state evolution model. The forward kinematics of the body is utilized as the measurement model. The state and measurement models are used to estimate the position, velocity and acceleration of each joint, updated based on the sensor inputs from inertial measurement units (IMUs). Additional joint limit constraints are imposed to reduce drift, and an automated approach is developed for estimating and adapting the process noise during on-line estimation.
Once joint angles are determined, the exercise data is segmented to identify each of the repetitions. This process of identifying when a particular repetition begins and ends allows the physiotherapist to obtain useful metrics such as the number of repetitions performed, or the time required to complete each repetition. A feature-guided hidden Markov model (HMM) based algorithm is developed for performing the segmentation. In a sequence of unlabelled data, motion segment candidates are found by scanning the data for velocity-based features, such as velocity peaks and zero crossings, which match the pre-determined motion templates. These segment potentials are passed into the HMM for template matching. This two-tier approach combines the speed of a velocity feature based approach, which only requires the data to be differentiated, with the accuracy of the more computationally-heavy HMM, allowing for fast and accurate segmentation.
The proposed algorithms were verified experimentally on a dataset consisting of 20 healthy subjects performing rehabilitation exercises. The movement data was collected by IMUs strapped onto the hip, thigh and calf. The joint angle estimation system achieves an overall average RMS error of 4.27 cm, when compared against motion capture data. The segmentation algorithm reports a 78% accuracy when the template training data comes from the same participant, and 74% for a generic template.